New Prague 17-U team takes 4th place at national tournament

New Prague's 17-U team took fourth place in the USSSA National baseball tournament in Lexington, KY.

The team, made up of New Prague High School students, was unbeaten in pool play and won their first game in the championship round before losing. They finished the tournament with a 6-2 record.

Game 1 — They opened the tournament July 19 against the Buckeye State Warriors from Ohio. New Prague gave up a run in the second, but got it back in the bottom half of the inning when Josh Simon doubled, was sacrificed to third and scored on a hit by Adam Gill.

That would be all the scoring until the bottom of the eighth, when Mike Goldsmith doubled, was sacrificed to third by Tyler Seurer. The Warriors walked two batters intentionally to load the bases and set up the force. Simon walked to drive in the winning run. Simon pitched eight innings, striking out five and allowing just four hits to get the win.

Game 2 — In the second game, New Prague faced Arlington Wizards from Texas. New Prague scored in the third when Seurer reached on an error and scored on a double by Kyle Bergstrom.

Arlington scored four runs in the fifth and looked poised for the win, but New Prague scored one in the fifth and three in the sixth to take the 5-4 win. In the fifth, Goldsmith singled, advanced on an infield grounder and a base hit by Eric Bisek, and scored on a hit by Simon.

The teams were notified that due to time constraints, the sixth would be the last inning, and New Prague made the most of it. Ben Bartelt had a one-out single, Jon Beckius was hit by a pitch and Ryan Jirak singled to drive in a run. Seurer drove in two runs with a base hit to end the game. Bergstrom pitched six innings, giving up five hits and striking out four for the win.

Game 3 — In game three, New Prague faced the Lexington Batjackets of Kentucky. New Prague led off the scoring when Simon tripled and scored on a fly ball by Bartelt. Lexington tied the game in the second. New Prague blew the game open with three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the sixth. Simon went 3-for-3, with a triple, double and single and Evan Schoenecker was 2-for-3. Other hits came from Seurer, Bisek, Gill, Bartelt and Beckius. Seurer started and went four innings to get the win. Bartelt pitched two innings of hitless relief, striking out three for the save in the 9-1 win.

Game 4— After pool play, all 24 teams were seeded, with New Prague ranked No. 2. After a bye, they faced the No. 16 seed, the Jamestown Travelers from New York. New Prague scored seven runs in the first inning and won the game 12-2. Goldsmith was 4-for-4, Simon 2-for-3 and Seurer 2-for-5. Other hits came from Gill, Bisek, Bartelt, Beckius and Jirak. Bartelt got the win, giving up two hits and striking out five. Both New York runs were unearned.

Game 5 — New Prague defeated the Charlotte (NC) Megastars 6-3. They took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, with everything happening after there were two outs. Bergstrom reached on an error, then Bisek, Simon, Schoenecker and Bartelt all singled

New Prague led 6-0, but gave up three runs in the seventh. Simon went the distance, allowing four hits and striking out five. Goldsmith had three hits, and Bisek and Bartelt two each.

Game 6 — New Prague lost its first game of the tournament to the Kansas City White Sox. The White Sox pitcher allowed just three hits, but New Prague had plenty of chances, as there were three walks, two hit batters and two White Sox errors. Still, New Prague couldn't get the key hit and lost 5-0. Bergstrom went the distance, allowing eight hits and striking out two.

Game 7 — New Prague bounced back with an 11-9 win over the Louisville Panthers from Kentucky. Seurer, Bartelt and Simon all pitched, allowing nine runs, but New Prague bats sent 11 men to the plate. Goldsmith had three hits and Schoenecker and Bartelt two each. Simon got the win as New Prague scored three runs in the sixth to take an 11-8 lead.

Game 8 — New Prague was eliminated by Players Edge Elite 6-1 in the third place game. New Prague got a run in the first when Goldsmith was hit by a pitch, Seurer sacrificed him to second and Bisek drove him in with a single.

That would be all the scoring for New Prague, as the Player's Edge pitcher, who will play at Stanford University next year, struck out nine New Prague players, with his fastball in the 90 mile-per-hour range.

Players Edge scored one run in the third, five in the fourth and one in the sixth to win 7-1.

Joe DeLuca threw three innings and Bartelt pitched the final three to take the loss.

The coaches said they were proud of the team, which was the only one of the top 10 teams to have all their players from one high school. The other teams were regional teams.

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